“Craft work in Mississippi–like our music, art, literature and history–is as much a part of what makes Mississippi distinctive as our natural resources.”
Long before “creative economy” and “cultural tourism,” Governor William Waller theorized that organizing and fostering Mississippi’s craft artisans would benefit the state’s economy, image, and tourism. In 1973, Governor Waller put into motion what would become the Craftsmen’s Guild of Mississippi, and ever since, the Guild has been proving him right.
Gov. and Mrs. William Lowe Waller
Hands, eyes, body, mind. All work together in unison when an artisan is perfecting their craft. When imagination is used in creating utilitarian object, something beautiful emerges. And with that beauty comes appreciation of the object as well as effort that went into crafting it.
Our mission at the Craftsmen’s Guild is a simple one. We work to preserve, promote, market, educate and encourage excellence in regional crafts. It is our belief that these crafts enhance the lives of the patrons who seek out and appreciate unique objects. We also believe that contact with the patrons enhances the lives of the artisans who express themselves through their craft.
It is through our work at the Craftsmen’s Guild over the past four decades that artisans and patrons have been connected. We have helped members make a living from their craft while encouraging the highest of standards.
We are proud of the efforts that have helped the Guild to grow and to become one of the most respected crafts guilds in the country. Membership is open to all whose work reflects a high degree of competence, professional standards and artistry in their medium and category. Eligibility is determined by a jury review process which takes place twice each year.
Passing along craft skills and fostering appreciation of the craft for future generations is something that happens in the most special of places. The 20,000 square foot William “Bill” Waller Craft Center in Ridgeland features a spacious retail gallery which provides a place for artisans to sell their work. Classrooms and studios provide space for classes, which helps to strengthen a craftsman’s skill, or teach someone a new skill along with giving them a greater understanding and appreciation of a particular craft. And each December, the Chimneyville Arts Festival celebrates our artisans while providing patrons a central place to procure new pieces for their own collections and to purchase meaningful gifts.
Our mission at the Craftsmen’s Guild is a simple one…
To preserve, promote, market, educate and encourage excellence in regional crafts, believing that contact with the skilled work of the hand enhances both producers’ and patrons’ lives.
For over four decades, the Craftsmen’s Guild of Mississippi has helped craftsmen make a living from their craft, enforced high standards, and provided educational programs to pass along both craft skills and an appreciation for them to future generations.
The Guild is headquartered in the 20,000 square foot William Lowe “Bill” Waller, Sr. Craft Center that has many functions –a spacious retail gallery, classrooms and studios, special events venue, and visitors’ center.
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Open: *SUMMER Tuesday - Saturday, 10am to 4pm.
950 Rice Road, Ridgeland, MS 39157